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2016 Beverage Industry Outlook

Another year approaches the end of the first quarter, and the beverage industry is showing several interesting trends we are seeing. Particularly of note is the shifting consumer base of health drinks.

Health drinks include sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade as well as protein drinks and other beverages that are typically marketed to athletes or people who are looking for something to complement or supplement their workout regimens.

The industry is finding more and more people regularly consuming health drinks, even if those people are not working out before or during consumption of the beverages, which may even lead to a shift in the marketing target.

Protein drinks in particular can have benefits to non-athletes. Vegetarians and vegans use protein beverages to supplement their diets, while some people simply use the drinks instead of eating an actual meal and elderly consumers might regularly consume these drinks to prevent muscle loss.

Sports drinks are permeating markets beyond athletes, too, as people are stocking their refrigerators with their favorite brands and flavors. According to a January report from Mintel’s Bloom titled “Nutritional and Performance Drinks,” 61 percent of adults consume sports drinks.

From an ingredient standpoint, it means food-grade chemicals are likewise increasing in popularity. Health drinks require high-quality ingredients like preservatives, coloring agents, food safe flavors, minerals and more. As we keep up with the industry trends, we make sure to have all the ingredients our customers need on hand.

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Trends for Wineries and Distilleries

Also continuing to trend are ingredients for ever-growing wineries and distilleries that we work with in Michigan. Specifically, whiskey and sparkling wine have both grown significantly over the past year, with whiskey replacing vodka as the top-dollar producer among spirits.

Like with health drinks, food-grade chemicals are essential to wineries and distilleries. Citric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid and others create unique flavor profiles and characteristics, with sugars and sweeteners also playing essential roles in wine and spirits.

What other trends are you noticing as we progress into spring and summer? The beverage industry continues to fascinate and we continue to keep our warehouses stocked for everything our customers will need.

Thinking of an ingredient that can enhance your beverages? Let us know how we can help.

Michigan Wineries Use Michigan Ingredients

Bremer Ingredients on a Winery Tour

Have you ever toured a winery? If so, you’ve learned fascinating facts about how grapes are chosen, how they’re converted into wine, where distinct flavors originate and anything else you may have wondered (or never known to wonder) about wine.

With the increase in wineries being established around Michigan, we’ve been graced with the opportunity to send our ingredients to wineries in Northern Michigan, Southwest Michigan and between. For our ingredients, it’s less of a tour and more of a fundamental, functional need, but it’s exciting nonetheless.

Essentially, a winery ferments fruit, then blends and ages the juices. Depending on the specific properties of each individual wine (and whether or not the winery also bottles or stores its products), winemakers have very unique needs when it comes to authentic ingredients. That’s where it gets exciting for us.

Essential Ingredients for Wine Makers

We’re seeing an increase in orders for granulated Michigan sugar and food-grade chemicals, as wineries need these ingredients to craft their products. Available on pallets and in bagged quantities, we’re able to serve big and small winemakers on an as-needed basis.

Wine Preservatives

Preservatives like citric acids, tartaric acids, sodium bicarbonate, potassium sorbate and others are needed for both the production and bottling of wines, keeping them fresh and adding flavor where applicable.

In an industry as robust as winemaking, and with a product category that has such devoted followers, it’s nice to know our ingredients play a prominent role. We enjoy sending them off to wineries around Michigan and look forward to sampling the finish products.

Are you a winery or craft wine maker looking for authentic ingredients? Let us know how we can help you.

Distilleries Crafting Legacies

Commercial Craft Distilling Is On The Rise

If you haven’t noticed, you haven’t been outside in a while. Craft breweries have been popping up all over the world, particularly here in Michigan. The microbrew craze is introducing many quality beers to the market, and consumers are indulging.Michigan Brewers Guild

But what about people who don’t like beer? Enter craft distilleries, which are gaining traction rapidly. Craft distillers are making their own whiskey, vodka, rum, gin and other liquors, and customers are loving it.

Just as wine connoisseurs will travel nearly anywhere to sample good wine, new craft distilleries are counting on their premium liquors attracting the same type of audience that appreciates a quality drink.

The same attributes that are making craft breweries so successful are also attracting customers to craft distilleries. Local, proud, passionate people are making extremely high quality products that can easily compete on a quality level with national and international brands.

Getting into the Spirit
One of the ways commercial distilleries keep things authentic and local as they grow is sourcing their ingredients from reliable sources like Bremer Authentic Ingredients.

Our warehouse is stocked with ingredients used by many a craft distillery. One in particular is molasses, specifically blackstrap molasses, due to the increasing demand from the more than 30 craft distilleries in Michigan (there were just a few as recently as 2009).

The best liquors require the best sugars, syrups and byproducts (such as the afore-mentioned molasses), and that’s what we’re proud to deliver to our customers.

If you have even a passing interest in authentic spirits, pay your local craft distillery a visit. We’re happy to play a small but important role in this booming industry.

Sugar is Key Ingredient for Microbrew Beers

Centrally located just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan – coined Beer City USA, We at Bremer  have witnessed an increase in the demand for great, high-quality ingredients used by brewers.

Using the highest quality ingredients available on the market makes a big difference when it comes to creating top-notch beer. Beer is one of the oldest beverages on the planet. It is composed of 90-95 percent water by mass, and has been produced by humans since as far back as 7,000 years ago by some accounts. So, it only makes sense that using natural ingredients is extremely important when it comes to creating a top-notch brew.

Beverage Bottling Line

Besides water, the basic components necessary for any beer recipe are sugars, grains, hops, and yeast. Hops are the cone-like flowers that come from a vining plant, and yeast are single-celled fungi that reproduce by fission or budding. What do these ingredients have in common? They all just happen to be 100 percent natural. However, yeast and hops alone only do not make the beer… what makes the beer actually contain alcohol is in the yeast foods, like sugars and honey, and that’s where Bremer comes in!

Yeast cells feed on sugar, and, as the sugar passes through the yeast, it creates both CO2 and ethyl alcohol. The most popular brewing sugar is corn sugar although cane sugars and beet sugars are often used in barelywines, dopplebocks or trippels. Some English ales even sometimes call for molasses specifically for brewing strong ales, stouts and porters. However, a growing trend among brewers has been using honey in beer instead of traditional sugars to give the beer a lighter or more summery flavor in hefeweizens and fruit beers.

The type of sugar used can make nearly as big of a difference in the flavor of your beer as the hops, yeasts or grains, which means having high quality sugar makes a large difference in how your beer tastes. So be sure you’re only using the highest quality ingredients that have no off flavors or defects, which makes Bremer a great choice for your next brew. In addition, you don’t have to be a brewery to get your sugars from Bremer, we serve customers from big brewers to someone with a five gallon bucket in their basement.

Are you a local Michigan brewer looking for high-quality ingredients? Let us know how we can help you create that next batch of craft brew. Contact Us Today!